Advances in medical science have increased longevity. The problem is if you don’t die you live. When you live you age and aging issues mean a high risk of needing long-term care services. This means an older spouse or adult daughter or daughter-in-law become a caregiver in additional to their own career and family responsibilities. Because of aging issues we now see more men becoming caregivers as well. Millions of men are now the primary caregivers for their ill and aging loved ones. According to AARP, two out of five unpaid caregivers in the United States are men.
People need long-term care due to illness, accidents of the impact of aging. Alzheimer’s and dementia are one of many reasons a person may need care and the pressure on family members is tremendous. For people without Long-Term Care Insurance the problem of caregiving either drains a family’s savings or falls to an older spouse or adult son or daughter to become a full or part-time caregiver.
The FDA provides these 7 tips for all caregivers:
1. Keep a list of medicines for each person you care for. Include over-the-counter medicines, dietary supplements, vitamins and herbs. Keep this list with you at all times. Bring this list to doctor visits. Remember to ask any questions you may have.
2. Give the right amount of medicine. Ask the healthcare provider how much medicine you should give and when you should give it. Use the measuring cup or device that comes with the medicine.
3. Lock up medicines. Make sure medicines are taken by the person it was meant for. Keep medicines out of reach of children, teens and older adults who can harm themselves.
4. Make food safety a priority. Those you care for may have a higher risk of getting sick from bad food. Ask your doctor if there are certain foods that you should not give to your loved one. Also, remember food safety when preparing meals. Follow four easy rules: clean, separate, cook and chill.
5. Use home medical devices safely. Talk to a doctor about how to safely use medical devices. Ask the doctor to show you and your loved one how to use the device correctly. Also, get the facts about hearing aids.
6. Be prepared for the unexpected. Make a plan for how you will care for your loved one in case of an emergency. Have back up supplies and medical information. Notify your electric company and fire department if you have a medical device that needs power.
7. Take time to care for yourself. Stay consistent with your own doctor's appointments and well-being.
Older adults often have more health problems that need daily care. It is important to talk to a doctor about safe medication use. Ask about foods and other products that should be avoided.
- Healthy Aging Tips for Women
- Food Safety for Older Adults
- Medicines and You: A Guide for Older Adults
Often a family caregiver faces their own health issues due to the stress and time required. No matter the age of the caregiver if you find yourself in that position paying attention to your own health is key for you and your family.
When caring for someone else, it is easy to forget your own needs. Remember to take time to care for your own health. Use these tips to help you stay healthy for those who need you.
- For women: schedule your mammogram. Find a location near you.
- Talk to your doctor about feelings of depression and anxiety.
- Take time to care for your health. Read important tips on a variety of health topics.
- Learn how to manage caregiver stress.
As more men enter this stereotypically female sphere, it is important to consider what tools and resources male caregivers need to succeed. Read this if you are a male caregiver: https://www.agingcare.com/articles/men-as-primary-caregivers-for-elderly-parents-131310.htm
One of the most important parts of your own retirement plan should be addressing your own future aging concerns so you limit the impact on your spouse and children. Since Long-Term Care will impact you, your family, your savings and your lifestyle addressing the financial costs and burdens of aging should be part of your pre-retirement checklist. Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will safeguard your savings and reduce the burdens placed on loved ones.
Most states offer partnership programs which allow you to have additional asset protection if you own a Partnership Long-Term Care Policy. See the availability of partnership in your state along with available tax incentives: https://www.ltcnews.com/resources/state-information
Long-Term Care Insurance is Easy and Affordable Asset Protection. Before you retire be sure you plan so you can avoid making your family your caregivers.